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November 10, 2012

Column: Time for bewildered Republicans to reassess their strategy

Ronald Reagan called the 1964 election “a time for choosing.” Tuesday’s election yielded a time for bewilderment.

Given his record, it is astonishing that President Barack Obama won re-election. He should have lost, big time. Despite an $833 billion stimulus and $5.6 trillion in fresh national debt, the economy crawls forward with 2 percent growth. Shovel-ready projects were not shovel ready. The Department of Energy has generated some 60,000 “green” jobs — at $578,333 each. When Obama arrived, the unemployment rate was 7.8 percent. It’s now 7.9 percent. Nonetheless, Obama is the first president to get re-elected with joblessness above 7.2 percent since FDR in 1936.

Serious analysts like Michael Barone, co-author of “The Almanac of American Politics,” forecast 315 electoral votes for Mitt Romney. Accurate since 1980, the University of Colorado Boulder’s model predicted 330 electoral votes for Romney. In fact, Romney secured 206 electoral votes, with Florida still too close to call.

Reputed uber-genius Karl Rove reconfirmed that he is the most overrated living participant in American public life. As “the architect” of profligate “compassionate conservatism,” Rove helped smash the GOP’s reputation for fiscal discipline. This still hurts Republicans. As Reuters’ Tim Reid wrote: “Early national exit polls revealed that about 50 percent of U.S. voters still blamed former Republican President George W. Bush for the country’s economic problems rather than Obama.” The allegedly brilliant Rove foresaw 279 electoral votes for Romney. Oops! Rove should retire to a Texas ranch, where he can raise and sell actual bull.

By beating these odds, Obama demonstrated that a majority of the U.S. electorate supports democratic socialism. Three bumper stickers on a California automobile recently illustrated this sad truth. They said, “Obama” “Tax the Rich,” and “Live Better — Work Union.”

Rather than being rejected as un-American, class warfare proved to be a winning formula. Look for Obama and the left to sow further seeds of discord. Let’s see how many prosperous people, entrepreneurs and job creators grow sick of being blamed for America’s woes. Many will retire. Others will exile themselves to countries where they will be appreciated.

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